Sunday, December 22, 2013


Remember the EAT THIS, NOT THAT books? Perhaps because those books were very visual, and so not rendering themselves well to audio format, author David Zinczenko has come out with an audiobook titled EAT IT to BEAT IT, which he also narrates. The three hour production includes a PDF on the first disk, to assist with those "boring to read aloud" stats, and is written with the same basic premise that people want to eat at fast food restaurants, but are unsure about which entrée to choose. Not surprisingly, most people are ignorant about the ingredients in the items they order. For example, if you have high blood pressure, you will want to stay away from PF Chang's hot and sour soup, one bowl of which has more salt than is recommended for three days, even by people without high blood pressure! Cheesecake Factory takes multiple hits too, as does Applebee's, On the Border, IHOP, Olive Garden, Quiznos, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, Sonic, TGI Fridays, Sbarro, Steak & Shake, Dennys, Nathan's, Chili's, not to mention Burger King, Carl's Jr., McDonalds, etc. Zinczenko makes a point to suggest alternatives within the same restaurant to choose, knowing that people are loyal to these brands. Worst item, which may sound healthy? Baja Fish Tacos at Long John Silver's. It has 9 grams of trans fats, the worst kind of fat, shown to cause memory loss and brain shrinkage. Not a very smart choice! Of course if you eat Calamari Ricardo at Carrabbas, you're getting 11 grams of trans fats. But at least you don't think it's healthy. Other surprises include the fact that processed foods in your grocery store may contain pulped wood shavings, insect body parts, and even human hair. And that often the FDA accepts the manufacturer's claims without followup or investigation. And that the phrase "contains whole grains" means nothing if the "100%" isn't the prefix. And that many additives are shown to cause cancer, ulcers and inflammation, while sugars hide in ingredient labels under multiple names that you wouldn't expect to be sugar. (Love your kids? Why feed them sugar for breakfast?) It's all about keeping you buying by lying. Of course to avoid much of this headache, one could avoid the inner aisles of grocery stores and junk food restaurants completely, One could avoid soda, and eat raw foods with little (if any) factory raised meat. This book, though, is for the majority of people, who simply won't do that, and are enticed by commercials (which some companies spend more money on than they do their products.)

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